Remain MP Dominic Grieve says he'll not quit despite local party no confidence vote

Dominic Grieve insists he will not be standing down despite a no confidence vote. Credit: ITV News

Pro-Remain MP Dominic Grieve has insisted he will not be standing down in the wake of suffering a vote of no confidence by his local Conservative Party.

Party members in Beaconsfield voted 182 to 131 in favour of the no confidence motion on Friday evening, meaning Mr Grieve faces possible deselection.

The former attorney-general said he would listen very carefully to the views of local members but, when asked by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand whether he would resign, said: "I was elected by 36,000 people of Beaconsfield who voted for me and I'm answerable to them.

"These are very difficult times. For all of us as MPs trying to make the right judgment call, trying to reconcile with our own conscience and our own opinion, about what is best for the country."

Earlier, he had blamed a former Ukip opponent for orchestrating a campaign against him.

Mr Grieve said Jon Conway had only recently joined the party with the "expressed single purpose of coming to defeat the motion of confidence in me".

Mr Conway hit back saying telling ITV News that Mr Grieve had "obstructed the party, the government and the Prime Minister all the way" on Brexit and "wasn't honest" with his constituents about his views on leaving the EU.

Mr Grieve told ITV News he had to accept there were "highly polarised" views on Brexit.

"More troublesome from my point of view, as I think the clear evidence of this AGM (shows), is that there were some people who joined the association with the specific agenda of trying to push an agenda of a no-deal Brexit," he said.

"And they came in quite substantial numbers, in a very well organised and coordinated way in order to make that point and to try to ensure - successfully as they did - that the motion of confidence in me was defeated."

When asked if he was now on the wrong side of his party, not aligned to either the prime minister, his local party nor those who supported Brext, Mr Grieve told ITV News that a strength of the Conservatives was that they were able to accommodate a variety of views.

"If we lose that, the inevitable consequence will be that the party may eventually split. And if the party splits, can it win elections?" he asked.

The chairman of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, Jackson Ng, posted a statement on Twitter, saying: "Our members had a robust discussion with our MP, Dominic Grieve QC on Brexit before voting on a motion of confidence in him as our MP, which, I can confirm with a heavy heart that he failed to retain.

“He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the executive council.”

Mr Grieve was one of the MPs behind the cross-party move to seize control of Commons business to stage a series of indicative votes on alternatives to Theresa May’s deal.

He has also been a vocal supporter of a second referendum.

It remains unclear whether the constituency party will move to deselect him as their MP.

Mr Grieve said he plans to "continue as before" despite the vote against him.

A number of Conservative MPs swiftly criticised the no confidence vote after it was announced late on Friday.

Boris Johnson described him as a "good man and a true Conservative".

Senior Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was “deeply disappointing”.

He tweeted: “Few in Parliament have contributed as much to public life as Dominic Grieve. As attorney general and chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee he has served our country dutifully for decades. He deserves thanks and praise, not this. Our party and country would be poorer.”

And former minister Alistair Burt said it was an “extraordinary decision”, adding: “A quality colleague, brave enough to challenge, but fundamentally a Conservative through and through. Where on earth are we heading with situations like this?”

Former Tory MP Anna Soubry, who was also at the forefront of the Remain wing of the Conservative Party until she defected to join the Independent Group, branded the vote “disgraceful”.

She tweeted: “More evidence that the uncompromising dogmatic right is running the @Conservatives #DominicGrieve is one of the finest, most courageous Parliamentarians ever – who has always put his country first & championed all his constituents.”

Several Labour MPs also voiced support for Mr Grieve.

Stella Creasy said the country’s politics “would be poorer without his input”.

She said: “I’m in a different political party to Dominic. We disagree on many things. I doubt Beaconsfield conservatives could find someone more experienced, more capable and more principled than him for their MP.”

Phil Wilson said the vote was “ridiculous”, adding: “I’m not of the same politics as Dominic Grieve but to deselect him as a Conservative candidate is to diminish politics, see an end to political integrity and deprive politics of a sincere and thoughtful practitioner.”